The year is just getting started, and we’ve got another Junior Horse to Watch to add to our list of great young horses we’ll be
monitoring throughout the year. This week, we’re featuring a young horse started by Pennsylvania breeder and trainer Roger Grow, who have a history of making tough, versatile horses. The mare is now owned by Laura Hedrick, who will be making her mark in the Junior Horse standings this year aboard the mare. Find out about this “classy” duo, only on The Barrel Racing Blog.
What are your horse’s name, age, and bloodlines?
Ima Classy Payday, also known as Classy. Classy is a 4 year old. She is out of a stud named Hesa Sonny Bar who goes back to Sugar Bars, and out of a Thoroughbred mare named Im Great who was to run on the track but never made it due to an injury. Roger Grow and Kelsey Rice from Pennsylvania own the stud and have done an amazing job with the colts from this line.
How did you come to own this horse?
My friend, Shugie Stoneman, saw her run and knew she was a special mare. She called me ringside to let me know about this mare. If you know Shugie, she has an amazing eye for talented horses so I knew I had to have her, sight unseen! She said, “This mare just has a classy way of going.” …Then later we found out her name is Ima Classy Payday!
Who did all of her training?
Roger Grow started Classy from the ground up. My plan is to take over the reins and get her confident and consistent and finish her training.
At what age was she started and how soon after starting her did she start working on the pattern?
Classy was started from the day she hit the ground. She was started under saddle in the fall of her 2-year-old-year. Classy started working the pattern last summer.
What big problems did she face in her training?
The biggest problem Roger encountered in her training was finding the time to truly work/ride her, and spend the quality time
with her that young ones need and deserve. I’m now working with her on a daily basis, and she loves it! The problem I’m facing is freeing her up in the turns. She wants to please you so much I think she over-thinks it.
What is her best attribute?
Classy’s best attribute is her mind. She is a very smart and willing mare. She wants to please whomever is riding/working her. She is hands down the most affectionate horse I’ve owned and wants to please you. Owning mostly mares over 25 years, this is not something I’m used to, HaHa!
Which barrel is her best?
All of her barrels are pretty to watch, but to ride, her third barrel is her best.
What bit do you run her in?
Classy runs in an o-ring snaffle. I’ve also been working her in a Loomis and she likes it too. Less is more with her.
What headgear (martingale, tiedown, etc.), if any, do you run her in?
Classy runs free headed-no headgear.
What exercise has helped her most in her training?
The exercise that helped Classy the most were reining patterns- big fast circles, slow collected circles, stops, turn arounds, etc. This transfers over into the barrel race.
How many days a week do you ride her?
Classy was really tuned on to go to OKC in December, and she handled everything like a pro. She ran 1/2 out of the toughest colts in the country, so I was really proud of her. When she came home, I have gave her January and February completely off and “let her be a horse.” We are riding two or three days a week now, and this will increase every few weeks.
How many days a week do you work the pattern or school barrels of any sort?
Only when needed.
Do you do anything else, other than barrel racing, with her?
Classy is trail ridden, and I started her on pole bending this month. I’d like do cattle sorting soon with her too.
What are your goals for this year?
This mare has all the tools to become a great one and I want it to be fun for both of us. Classy found a new gear in OKC, so I’m excited for her junior horse years. Winning will come, but I’m focused on her becoming a great open horse.
Of the pens you run in Penn-Ohio, which is your best pen with this horse?
Classy only had limited hauling as a 3 year old. I would have to say Simmons Equestrian Center was her best, most solid pen. I know by the end of the summer we will have a few more to add!!!